Holy Shiznit, Spent $2000 Per Month on Food

My boyfriend and I are fairly rational people, yet we suffer from a case of avoidance. We’re both in two very different places in terms of earning and savings, as I’ve noted before. He has about $0 in savings while I have over $250k. He makes $80k sans benefits while I make $110k, for now. Neither of us are the smartest spenders. But facing reality is something that we both needed to do. Especially in terms of our food spending.

We eat out. A lot. We made a rule a while ago that whoever invites the other person pays. We don’t go to fancy restaurants but it still adds up. I am uncomfortable cooking in my kitchen with my roommates and his room doesn’t have a kitchen. I tend to spend about $600-$700 per month on food, including a few dates where I pay for both of us. But his $1200-$1500 monthly expenditure was the real shock.

I know I spend too much on food and am aware I should be spending much less, but I’m still managing to save a good $50,000 per year. Meanwhile, he goes out to eat a lot more than I do because he has no kitchen at all. He knew he was spending too much on food but was thinking it would be around $700 per month, not $1500 like last month.

While we look at apartments that are $1500 per month, it was a good reality check to understand how our food budget could easily cover our entire rent and leave enough over for groceries. It’s embarrassing to admit how much we are spending on food (we don’t even drink alcohol usually – it really is just food) – but it’s good to also see this as an area where we can drastically reduce our spending when we move in together.

Being as he’s an all-or-nothing type person, he now plans to reduce our food spending from $1500+ per month to under $400 per month. It will be an interesting project. I’d like us to focus on learning to cook and eating healthy. Obviously $1500 for a couple is off-the-charts ridiculous. What is a reasonable food budget per month for a couple trying to eat healthy and use fresh produce as often as possible? He read $15 per day max but that seems low to eat healthy… maybe it can be done if we buy in bulk. What are your thoughts?

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8 comments

  1. Damo says:

    Geez…. I’m 30 and I only earn 630 per week … I was living in a rental unit that cost 450 per week as I hated to have room mates….it ended making me run I to $25000 in debt… So now I’m living back with my parents trying to pay off my debt with the huge interest amounts I have to pay…. But I still somehow manage to blow $300 per week on alcohol and smoking…I drive a $1500 1980s car and my free time is spent playing halo online on my Xbox …yet somehow in still a happy person …. If you have managed to save 100s of thousands of dollars then why don’t you live it up a bit…. Because you might get hit by a bus tomorrow …

  2. Script Bunny says:

    “Wooooah, that’s a lot of money for food!” I thought before I took a look at my own food spending.

    I just checked Mint and I spent an average of $425 a month for food last year, only for myself. To be fair, that also covers usually 1-2 nice dinners a month with the boyfriend. But otherwise, I cook most of my meals, no pre-made stuff or processed foods, and eat out around maybe once a week for lunch. That said, my neighborhood grocery store is a Whole Foods and I live in a high COL area so that might account for some of the spending.

  3. Henrietta Schermeier says:

    Wow. I thought you said your BF was broke. But $80k is a damn good salary. And if he makes $80k, why would he spend 2 years in school to only make $55k as a teacher? Right now you’re pushing $200k as a couple, you should be able to afford a $1500 a month apartment easily. I agree that spending $2k per month on food is outrageous. But $400 is way too little unless you don’t eat out at all and eat rice and beans a lot. I think we spend about $800 a month and it includes eating out 1-2 times per week.

    1. hereverycentcounts ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      He just started earning $80k at the very end of last year. Up until then he had not made more than $25k per year. He was working for a small non-profit that was paying him very little for part-time IT work and took over some more responsibilities and convinced them to pay him more for more hours. Still not benefits but he’s definitely not broke now. In the area we live $80k is still a very low salary for IT-related work but it’s definitely reasonably good money with both our incomes (I’d say good dual income money in this area would be $300k as a couple.)

      Why go to school to make $55k as a teacher? He really wants to teach. It’s his passion and he’s always wanted to do it. He’ll be much happier. It’s possible he could keep this type of $80k job (he works from home) while teaching full time, so that wouldn’t be bad.

      $600-$800 per month on food sounds reasonable, thanks for your input!

      1. Damo says:

        And if I earned more than 630 per week and didn’t have to support my girlfriend who has been out of work for a 2 years now…. Like even 1000 per week I could live like a king and save money…. 80000 is more than enough for 2 people to live off for a year…..and saving your whole pay you could buy a million dollar house in less than 10 years without a loan

  4. Does his $80K go towards debt or something? Just curious why he has $0 saved and you have so much.. and you two aren’t that far off in terms of income.

    As for food, we spend about $500 – $600 a month between the two of us, buying fresh food, cooking it, organic stuff, etc.

    1. hereverycentcounts ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      He was making $20k – $30k a year for the past few years, before that even less. In November he started making $80k per year. He also started eating out a lot more at that point because he was making more, but he did not realize how much he was spending. Now that he’s realized he’s stopped eating out as much on his own.

  5. Kona Jones says:

    For a family of three (and one is a toddler) we spend about 120-150 a week on food and household items (cleaning supplies, toothpaste, etc). That includes eating out about once a week (occasionally more) and the rest is us eating at home. We don’t buy a lot of prepackaged food and cook a lot from scratch which really helps money wise and health wise. Yet, we could save more if I bought less name brand food or shopped at less pricey stores.

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